Axis and Allies

When I was in Boy Scouts (now just called Scouts), my Scoutmaster owned a game store. Not as in video games, but as in tabletop and board games. As you might imagine, his enthusiasm for such games rubbed off on his young charges.

Although card games were perennially popular, one of the staples of our troop was Axis and Allies. If you’re not familiar with this game, imagine the game Risk but significantly more complex along nearly every dimension.

(If you’re not familiar with Risk, I’m afraid I can’t help you. This post might not be for you.)

Our Scout troop always had a bunch of middle-aged guys hanging around helping with various events. As a kid I always assumed they were guys who were super into scouting, which to be fair they definitely were. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that they were really just buddies of my Scoutmaster and (not coincidentally) huge nerds. He would often have a running game of Axis and Allies going with some or all of these guys.

Sometimes us kids would also get a game going. Some of the older Scouts were pretty good at it. I certainly wasn’t; my attention span was definitely not up to the task of a game that can take multiple days to complete.

Oh, did I mention that one game of Axis and Allies could last for several days? Yeah, that’s a thing.

If we were hiking, each player would meticulously record their position on the board. Then we’d pack up the game, only to break it out the next evening after we’d arrived at our destination. If we were just camping, the game would spend multiple nights set up on a picnic table or folding card table.

I don’t think I ever came even particularly close to winning, which is not overly surprising. It was fun though.

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